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Successful Benefit Ride for Triple R Rescue!

WOOHOO!!!!!!! I think everybody would call this ride a big success! A perfect day with a nice breeze, lots of nice trails to ride at your own pace and lunch afterwards to kick back, socialize with friends and finish off the day. What more could you ask for. Two of our riders even saw a mama bear and two cubs, but by the time they got their camera, the bears disappeared into the woods. A number of riders spotted deer too.

A total of $1,151.50 was raised for Triple R. With 64 riders, $640.00 was collected, along with $15.00 in extra donations. Triple R held a small tack sale from donated goods, which generated $240.50. David Rigdon, with Triple R, grilled hotdogs and served plates of hotdogs, assorted chips, assorted desserts and drinks generating $256.00 for the grand total of $1,151.50.

I want to thank everybody who helped make this day successful, and thank all the participants that came to ride. I also greatly appreciate Jason Crowder allowing us to ride their plantation and use their facilities.

If you weren’t there, you missed a really fun day!

Annual Dinner Meeting

It’s that time of year for the Annual Meeting. It will be held January 13th at the Leon County Horseman’s Association building (188 Horseman Association Rd in Tallahassee). We will have a social hour at 5pm and then serve dinner at 6pm. After everyone has eaten, we will be electing officers for 2018. STA will be providing the Ham and Turkey for the main course, so we need everyone to RSVP to Sharon. Cost is $5/person.

For side dishes we are asking that you bring something based on the first letter of your last name:

A-G appetizers
H-R veggies/Potatoes/Rice
S-Z salads

October 28, 2017 – Fort Braden

The day dawned clear but rain was expected in the afternoon. I left home earlier than usual because I knew a large crowd was expected. As I pulled up to the “fee box”, I noticed a large area had been taped off at the edge of the trailhead across from the box. The ground was wet and muddy. I wondered if it would cause a problem for folks to maneuver their rigs to get into the trailhead the more crowded it became but we have good drivers in our club. Ambrose and Wendy were already there as well as Tram, who was the trail boss for the ride. Herb was behind me. Tram told me his horse had been lame all week but seemed ok now but asked if I would lead the ride if Harley wasn’t able to handle it. Of course I agreed. As it turned out, there were two rides: one for slower horses and one for gaited horses. Tram led the gaited group on Harley on the west trail and Linda led the slower group on the east trail. I usually ride the east trail so I was looking forward to riding the west trail. We hadn’t gone very far when word was passed up that Tram had to turn back. So, Sadie and I were put in charge and the rest of the riders were Ambrose on Sally, Herb on Buddy, Tonya on Dusty, Lavater on Bucky, Mike on Sage and Marti on Deliliah. (Marti is the recreation specialist for the Talquin State Forest and looks after the Ft. Braden trails; she said the mud is due to a pitcher pump to be installed for us to have water for the horses!) The first thing I discovered was the trail turned down the last jeep road instead of continuing on toward the lake. This cut out a beautiful part of the trail that used a firebreak and then followed a small creek that is absolutely awesome. (On another ride out there I’ll be glad to introduce folks to it because it’s not too far from the new turn.)   As we continued down the jeep road, Herb’s horse started spinning like something had bitten him but soon settled down. We then turned into the woods on the single track trail that wound up and down small hills. It wasn’t long before three small deer crossed in front of us. We waited to see if more would pass but they were by themselves. It soon became obvious that we need to have a workday to replace signage as many of our markers were on the ground so we relied on the treadway itself. We spooked another deer as we continued our way down toward the lake and I then pointed out some large holes and explained that I had been told two different theories about their existence. The first was that Indians dug for clay there; the second was that boy soldiers during the Civil War dug the holes to be prepared to fight the Yankees if they came up the river to invade Florida and capture the Capital. As we continued toward the pavilion, I stopped to get everyone together and noticed a small turtle. When Sadie saw it, she snorted at it and she and it moved in different directions. I think she has a phobia about turtles because the only other time she had seen one on a ride, she whirled and somehow I stayed on. When we got to the pavilion, we took a small break and wondered if the other group had arrived and left before we got there. We decided to continue to the next road and Ambrose led out. We wandered through the woods to the next road where Ambrose said goodbye because he was going to ride more. As we took the road back, three big deer crossed in front of us. When we got closer to the trailhead, we saw the other group returning on the east trail so we actually got back at the same time! All in all, I appreciated the opportunity to lead the ride but want to acknowledge Tram’s big disappointment in not being able to follow through as trail boss. We’ve all had experience with lame horses and I am sure there will be other rides he will lead for the club!

October 15, 2017 – Alford Arms Greenway

Seven members and eight horses rode the J.R. Alford Greenway on a Sunday morning where the temperature began at 76 at 10 a.m. and at 12:30 p.m., hit 84 degrees.  Humidity had all the horses lathering up during the ride.  Ride participants were: Herb Rosinsky on Buddy, Sue Noyes on Bud, Rocky Martin rode Silk but ponied Flicka her 1.5 year old filly, Ambrose rode Cuzzin, Paul on Mabrogada, Melody on Spirit and Janet on Charlie.  We had some horses walking a bit faster than others and the group broke into smaller groups towards the end.  It was great to see so many equestrians on the trail, as two other groups were riding and another arrived as we loaded back up.  We were surprised to see the tractors tilling the soil in the fields on a Sunday!  All the horses handled it well and no rider mishaps.  Come out and join the ride!

Quarterly Meeting at Fort Braden – Oct 28th

Ride at 10am, Quarterly Meeting at 12:30

We will ride for about 2 hours and then meet at the picnic tables for lunch and a short meeting. Lunch will be provided but please bring your own beverage. RSVP to Wendy Trawick 850-509-3913 so we know how much food to provide.

The new design STA logo shirts will be available in both long and short sleeve styles for purchase.

Directions: From Tallahassee: Go west 8.7 miles on Highway 20 from Capital Circle Southwest. En-trance road will be on the right. There is a $2.00 entree fee for each person riding with an honor system envelope box on your left.

Clean Up Day at Apalachicola National Forest

The day dawned bright and cool with a slight breeze as we gathered at Rivers Road Trailhead for the new (first ever) mini trash cleanup in the national forest (you may be aware the annual trash cleanup takes place in February and STA has been a participant since it was established) . The forest has been without official law enforcement detail for seven weeks due to our officer being injured in an accident so the “emergency” cleanup event was created because he feared, by his absence, that people would take advantage of the situation and dump stuff. We pray and wish for his complete recovery from his injuries.
It didn’t take long to discover that two different STA work groups would participate. These groups came together as a result of reconnaissance efforts on our four trails to determine where trash was located. The blue trail (longest one) was the “winner” for having trash at two of our “watering” locations and the other trails were clear. Lyn, Katrina, Tram and Herb rode with Sue in her gator to pick up the trash. Ron and Charlotte rode their horses and did overhead trimming on the orange trail.

The trash on the north end of the blue trail was located at a beautiful cypress pond and on the way there we discovered more gopher tortoise enclosures have been erected. (These enclosures have erosion control material attached to wooden posts and cover large areas. The gopher tortoises were removed from other areas of the forest where timbering would occur and when replanting is completed they will be returned to their “home” area.) We also had to do some overhead trimming and move large trees to the side of the road so we could get the gator through to the trash. There was also trash on the south end on the “way back” trail at another pond. To get to this area, we continued down the blue trail (trimming and removing debris) to the gas line and then used it to get to the “way back” trail. After cleaning up the trash on the south side, we decided to check the portion of the yellow trail that goes to Crawfordville Hwy. We discovered some markers have been removed but we were able to follow the trail thanks to Lyn’s excellent memory. We discovered a huge fallen oak tree on the trail and Herb did a great job of finding a safe route around it. All in all, we collected three horse feed bags of trash in three hours. Many thanks to Lyn for bringing the bags and to Herb for bringing his loppers. Katrina did an excellent job overhead trimming from the back of the gator! Tram and Herb were great at moving trees off the road and breaking big limbs. Sue did her best to make the gator ride as safe and comfortable as possible.

Fall Benefit Ride November 18th at Crowder Farms to benefit Triple R Horse Rescue.

View the full post here!

Quarterly Meeting and Pool Party!

Join us for some fun in the sun! The fun starts at 2:00PM so bring your swimsuit and cool off in the pool! Dinner will be served at 5:00PM. We are asking that you bring an appetizer, side dish or dessert, depending on the first letter of your last name. If your last name begins with A—D, please bring an appetizer. E—R: bring a side dish. S—Z: bring a dessert. Spiral ham, Iced tea, and water will be provided. Please RSVP via text or voicemail to Wendy Trawick at 850-509-3913 or wendy.trawick@gmail.com. Ask Wendy for directions.

April 15, 2017 – Phipps Park

What a gorgeous day for a ride and that we did. Thirteen riders showed up at Phipps Park for a two hour ride. Several riders went out separately as they were our speedy riders. The rest of us sauntered off into the woods for an adventure. Fortunately Luanne, who knows Phipps quite well, was with us today helping me “lead”. She guided us through woods, fields and we even rode part of the Red Hills course checking out how the jumps looked right next to our horses. Nancy was determined to take her horse over one of those jumps but we managed to talk her out of it – see the picture. Gee, sitting on your horse right next to those jumps sure puts a different perspective on things. We even stopped to let our horses graze a bit. All in all, it was a relaxing day, but then again, anytime I’m on my horse, it’s a relaxing day. Sharon

Benefit Poker Ride Scheduled for Saturday May 6th

We will be holding a benefit Poker Run Ride on Saturday May 6th at the Rivers Road trailhead of the Apalachicola National Forest to raise money for Rainbow’s Edge Training Stable.  Registration fee is $10 per person and lunch will be available for purchase after the ride.  We will also have a Derby Hat contest since it is Kentucky Derby Day!

February 18, 2017 – Joe Bud WMA

Eight riders and horses showed up Sunday to enjoy our Joe Budd ride; Sharon and General; Wendy and Amos; Kathy and Sunny; Bob and Hooker; Linda and Goldie; Terri and Star; James and Sugar; Ambrose and Sally. What a gorgeous day it was and I believe everybody enjoyed the ride. As we rode through the woods, we crossed over many downed trees, through several streams and up several fairly steep hills giving everybody a feel for what their horses can really do. Much of the trip we were overlooking the river. This is a beautiful trail and well worth riding. If you get the urge to go, there’s no hunting through March 10, so you still have time to ride there any day of the week. Sharon

January 28, 2017 – Otter Lake

Three riders braved the cold morning to enjoy a 3 hour ride at the beautiful Otter Lake trail in Panacea. Pam and Flashy, Nancy and Reel, and Gaye and Max had a great time riding, socializing, and enjoying the scenery in the St. Marks National Refuge. Nancy’s Montana horse, Rebel was right at home in the cooler temperature. The only complaint about the cold weather was our cold toes after the ride. We warmed them up at the Seinyard Restaurant at Wildwood Country Club in Medart, enjoying a seafood lunch after the ride. Great day, great ride, and great company!

Pam

January 15, 2017 – Alford Arms Greenway

In the early afternoon on Sunday, January 15, 2017, 13 horses and riders, including two guests, came out to en- joy the sunshine at Alford Arms Greenway. The group included Megan on Gus, Rocky on Silk, Ambrose on Sally, Chris on Ripple, Carole on Paxon, Janet on Charlie, Nancy on Gypsy, Mike on Sage, Gaye on Max, Linda on Scarlet, Paulina on Cedar, Morgan Bowman on her polo pony Sabrina, and Debbie Lightsey on borrowed Arabian Farley. We broke up into two major groups, one primarily interested in a slow ride, and the other in a medium-speed ride with energetic walking and some jogging. Riders were asked to avoid the single track as it is deteriorating, and cau- tioned to expect a train around 3 PM. We all started out following the tree line through the fields by the parking ar- ea, but soon the groups went in different direc- tions and the medium- speed group broke off with some a bit faster. That group weaved in and out of the various fields to add time and distance to their ride, then headed into the woods. It was fun for us to stop while Morgan  took Sabrina over a downed tree just off the trail. Later on there was opportunity for a nice canter, during which Cedar showed the big guys he has what it takes, and then a couple of people cantered completely around one of the big fields. It was more than a bit hot, so the pace slowed to cool out. All of the groups returned safely to the parking lot about two hours after ride-out. Everyone was smiling and happy, and a few comments about “best ride ever” were overheard. So happy to ride with no bugs this time of year! Thank you to everyone who came out!

Megan

 

December President’s Message

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah!

Tis the season to remember those we love, and gather together to celebrate the holidays. I hope you have enjoyed a wonderful year, made new friends and been able to share the trails with your horse or mule. We are very blessed to have weather that allows riding for the majority of the calendar year, and especially blessed with mild winters.

The leaves have fallen, covering some of our trails but also exposing some trail cleanup that is needed.

The Apalachicola National Forest Trail Clean-up event is set for March 4th, at 8 a.m. followed by a hosted lunch. Be saving your empty horse feed bags for us to fill with trash. We make a statement when bag after bag of horse feed is added to the trash collected versus those from non-equine groups. We will be scheduling a trail maintenance at Fort Braden Trails too, as the East Loop has a couple of spots where the trail signs are not visible.

By now you should have received your invitation to our Annual Dinner on Saturday, January 7th, at the Leon County Horsemen’s

Association Building. The social is at 5 p.m., and dinner will be served at 6 p.m. It is a bring your own booze but STA will furnish water, tea, soft drinks and coffee. STA is also furnishing the meat, both turkey and ham, as well as plates, cups, napkins and silverware. You are asked to bring a dish to share based upon your last name. Board Members are bringing des- serts as well as door prizes. Hopefully, we will have a good turnout, but do be sure to RSVP so we know how many tables and chairs to set up. The cost is $5.00 per person.

Finally, thank you for the opportunity to have served as your President for 2016. I am proud of our accomplishments: the growth in our membership, expansion of trail rides to days other than Saturday mornings, and non- riding fellowship events. All of these things were requested by the members at our January 2016 Annual Meeting. Our trail rides are attracting a larger number of riders, enough that we break into 2-3 groups. It has been rewarding to see riders enjoying the fellowship of other trail riding equestrians along one of our many trail locations, all because a group of riders 26 years ago identified a need to join their voices to seek areas to ride our horses. Our region has grown in population, with pressures for non- equine uses on our public lands. I am so thankful that those founding members formed Southern Trailriders Association, and that as we move into our 27th year, our organization has the opportunity to add even more riding locations, such as the St. Marks Headwaters Greenway, Torreya State Park and the Upper St. Marks River Corridor.

Happy Trails!

 

Janet

December 10, 2016 – Crump Road

What a beautiful day for a ride! When I arrived, Linda and Blondie were already there passing around the sign-up sheet. They were the first to arrive! Those of you who know Linda are aware of just how amazing this was! Sharon arrived was also there Cricket and General. She hauled General for Luanne to ride. Sue was there with her 25 year- old mare Sadie, as well as Ambrose with his mount Sally. While we were tacking up, Luanne arrived with her daughter Emily. They hauled Buck for Emily to ride and Luanne rode General.

10 am rolled around quick and Sue and Ambrose were ready to go, so they headed down the trail at a slow pace so we could catch up. At least that was the plan! The rest of the group started down the trail about 10:10. We came across several people riding bikes and jogging. Everyone was very courteous to us and made sure they went by us cautiously.

The trail was in good shape except for a narrow part that we took on the way back. There were some areas that could use some “lopping”. We also chatted about how it would be nice if we could see better to cross the road. It is difficult to see when it is safe to cross, so one of us dismounted each time we needed to go across.

We (the second group) rode for 2.5 hours, and when we arrived at the trail head Sue and Ambrose had not yet returned. We never caught up with them or encountered them on the trail. We hung around and visited for a while, and after another hour they arrived. They said they road all the way to the big field at Thornton Road, and they couldn’t go slow because Sadie was in a hurry the entire ride! She apparently has many more trails to enjoy before she retires!
It was a great ride!

Happy Trails,
Wendy and Famous Amos

October 22, 2016 – Rivers Road

Nineteen riders set out on this beautiful Fall day to ride the Blue Trail off of Rivers Road. The sun was shining and the air was cool and dry. Sue Noyes and Ron Tuttle led this ride with the following riders: Jennette and Jud, Katrina, Bailey, Ambrose, Charlotte, Pam, Doell, Lavater, Tonya, Becky, Chris, Herb, Liz, Lyn and Paula, and Leatha. Just as we were about to enter the second stand of trees, one of our horse and rider teams took a tumble on a mound of sand. After the horse scrambled up, the rider was okay too and everyone enjoyed the rest of the ride. Several deer were spotted on this ride and the fall flowers and dappled sunlight put a few horses in a frisky mood. Four riders went on ahead, making this slow/fast ride a pleasure for everyone.

November 25, 2016 – Fort Braden

It was a gorgeous day, perfect for riding and clearly, 13 other riders felt the same as me!  We rode out in 3 groups to lessen the dust and make the ride more enjoyable for all.  2 groups rode the East Loop while one rode the West Loop.  There was evidence of fallen trees along both trails, likely a result of Hurricane Hermine.  Some of the larger trees has been cut through but other times the trail was briefly re-routed around the debris.  We had some horses wary of crossing water, but as is always the case on a STA ride, we ride to be inclusive and work with one another.  By the time a third water obstacle arose, all horses crossed without incident.

We did have campers at the trail head and also more campers using the horse stalls, which is great to see.

Members/equines pairings were: Janet/Charlie; Tonya/Lady; Gary/No More; Herb/General; Sharon/Cricket; Nancy/Rebel; Pam/Flashy; Ambrose/Sally; Ron/Mini; Linda/Blondie; Terry/Jake; and Kathleen/Sunny.  Two guests also joined our ride: Tram/Harley and Percy/Tequila.

As Pam remarked, this ride had quite a few new members and it was great to see the strong turnout for this special Black Friday Ride.  It sure was more enjoyable than shopping with thousands.  Some riders loaded up and headed home after the 2-2.5 hour ride, while others ate lunch together.  Gary and Jake hit the trail for more riding, as clearly 8 miles just wasn’t enough for them!  Till next time, Happy Trails!  Janet — Ride Leader.  Photo credits: Terry and Sharon

November President’s Message

Are you enjoying your saddle time in this cooler, drier weather? I sure am. We have had more riders join our Association and our rides, which is wonderful to see. The Halloween Costume Ride brought out the imagination of our members and our thanks to Lyn for sponsoring the prizes awarded.

We have more rides scheduled, such as our Black Friday Ride at Fort Braden Trails led by yours truly. More rides are listed in our calendar, so check them out.

New trails are in the works as well, such as the St. Marks Headwaters Greenway. The proposed equestrian trail had located off Baum Road, between Buck Lake Road and Capitol Road had its final review November 2nd, and now will take about 90 days for construction bids, then another 4-5 months allowed for construction. We will let you know when it is open and ready to ride. Our Annual Meeting is set, and it will be at the Leon County Horseman’s Association Building again, on Saturday, January 7th, 2017. Social at 5p.m., and dinner at 6 p.m. We ask members to bring a dish for the event. The membership has been divided alphabetically by last name for appetizers, salads and vegetable, both hot and cold. Board Members will bring desserts and the STA will furnish the meat, both ham and turkey, as well as tableware. Bring your own beverages! The cost is $5.00 per person, to cover the building rental, meat and decorations. Invitations will be mailed soon. Sharon Haughton is chairing the event with the help of Megan Altavilla, Jud Curtis and Wendy Trawick. As always, new officers will be elected as well as members to serve on your Board of Directors.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

I am so thankful for the work of STA and its founding mem- bers in their work to provide us with so many great places to ride in our area.

Happy Trails!
Janet

November 5, 2016 – Aenon Church Road

Ron was supposed to lead this ride, but alas poor Ron came down with a 6 day intestinal flu bug and Jud was asked to fill in. And we had an exceptional ride. The weather was blue bird perfect. Not too cool and not too warm and bright and sunny. The horses were mostly frisky and rearing to go. We rode down the power lines a long ways in the morning sun and ducked into the woods quite aways further down than usual. Pretty soon we encountered the metal bridge that horses aren’t fond of so Paula got off and lead Hoss across and all the rest of the gang followed like sheep. After that we rode through some truly beautiful forest property and ended up crossing the power lines again and rode the other side of the trails near Crowder’s pits. The ride lasted 2&1/2 hours and it was really a nice comfortable easy way to spend Saturday morning. The riders were: Jud and Jennette C., Nancy S., Pam F., Sue N., Herb R., Lyn G.,Paula G., Ambrose H. and Rocky ? Thanks for taking over the chore as leader Jud we sure enjoyed it.
Roving Reporter

October President’s Message

Well, we sure had a busy September with STA work on future trails and securing our interests on existing ones!

Our support for the Thornton Road Extension in the Micco- sukee Greenway has been communicated to the Governor and Cabinet. We were not scheduled for the cabinet meeting in August, but were set for September 20th. However, just days before the meeting the item was pulled and no future date has been scheduled. There is concern that the issue has become political fodder between the Governor and the City of Tallahassee. You likely saw some of this friction over the City’s response following Hurricane Hermine. We will keep you posted and continue to hope that for the good of the community and trail users, the revamped trail head will be allowed to move forward with the land exchange between the City and State.

Leon County is moving forward with its plans for the Phase 1 trail head at the St. Marks Headwaters Greenway (Baum Road). It will be about a year before we can expect to be able to ride the just under 4 miles of equestrian trails there. We attended two hearings so far on the issue and have written a letter of support for the proposed project. Most of the people attending the second hearing were interested in the playground area that will be part of Phase 2. Construction of Phase 2 isn’t expected until 2018 because of the wetlands and environmental permits.

We are already discussing plans for our Annual Meeting in January. We will have more details on that next month but if you have an interest to serve on the Board of Directors or as an officer of STA, please let a current board member know.

Finally, the temperatures are dropping and the air is drying out which means one thing: time to join us on rides! We have set the ride schedule for the rest of 2016. There is a fun event for Halloween too where you get to dress us your horse and/or yourself. So load up your horse and come ride with STA.

Happy Trails!

Janet